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Angela Diano

She believes in lessening the burden of disease on patients and underserved communities by advocating for them.

Angela Diano is the Executive Director of Alpha-1 Canada Inc., a national not-for-profit organization that advocates on behalf of Canadians affected by Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency, a genetic condition that can cause lung and liver damage. Throughout her career in advocacy, Angela has championed women and children fleeing family violence, at-risk youth, and children living with disabilities in addition to tirelessly raising awareness about organ and tissue donation within racialized communities.

Over the last decade, Angela has been advocating on behalf of patients with rare diseases and inherited blood disorders. Up until recently, Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency had limited to no access to the only specific treatment for the disorder, resulting in patient suffering, lung transplants, and premature death.

For years, Angela worked within the framework of health technology assessments and collaborated with governments to raise awareness about this disease. After over six years of persistent work, in 2023, an Alpha-1 category was approved by provincial and territorial governments (outside of Québec) for the Canadian Blood Services formulary, resulting in national access to a plasma-derived protein replacement therapy for Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency. As of 2024, this new category in the blood system now guarantees equitable access to treatment for patients and for generations to come. 

Angela believes that as a patient advocate, the onus is on her to lessen the burden of disease on patients and underserved communities, ensuring patients don’t have the additional burden of fighting for access to treatments as they manage the daily struggles of living with progressive and degenerative illnesses; she considers it a privilege to make sure governments are putting patients at the centre of conversations when evaluating access to patient care. Angela’s unwavering commitment to meeting the needs of under-served patients living with chronic and hereditary diseases is also demonstrated in her work as Chairperson of the Network of Rare Blood Disorder Organizations (NRBDO), a coalition of national patient groups, formed to share the best practices in healthcare delivery for people with rare blood disorders. Angela remains passionate about amplifying the patient voice and working collaboratively with governments, healthcare institutions, and the life sciences industry to develop ways to build a more equitable healthcare landscape where everyone can access life-saving therapies.




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